Living from the streets to the seats at college.
My name is Nawaal Isaacs and I am a recovering addict. This is my story.
My mother was a single parent as my parents got separated due to their unstable relationship. My mom and I had a very close relationship and we relied on each other for emotional support. I was always in a warm and safe environment at home with her.
In 1990, my mom was diagnosed with angina heart and could no longer work. My life changed when my mom passed away in my arms three days before my birthday.
My mother had left everything to me, and I was only 12 years old and not old enough to look after myself. My sister and her husband took me in. Soon after I had moved in with my sister’s family things changed. I lost that feeling of warmth and security at home. I was sexually abused.
I continued with my schooling despite the challenges. This is where I got drawn to friends and circles that introduced me to drugs. It escalated to me selling drugs and living with a drug dealer. As a result, I ended up in jail. I served three years in prison. I was then released a month earlier for good behaviour. This is the price I paid for channelling my pain in an unhealthy way and for hanging out with the wrong crowd.
I was out of prison but started living on the streets with no friends or family to support me. I went back to live with the drug dealer, but things continued to become worse for me as I was back to my old ways.
One night a friend of mine introduced me to this fellowship for recovering addicts. They welcomed me with open arms and helped me feel a part of them. I then joined the programme. I drew and restored my hope by listening to other addicts’ stories. I decided to stop hanging out with my bad friends and made new ones who were also in recovery and who could relate to what I was struggling with. I created my own warm and safe space where I could grow and become a better person.
I’m currently in my second year of Office Administration studies and trying my best to practice the principles I’ve learned from the fellowship daily. I have become more honest and open-minded and willing to take help from people who want to see me prosper in life. I can move forward in life not idling anymore and am content in life.
I got exposed to MOT and was later granted the opportunity to attend the Young MOTivators’ Education to become a leader. I had always felt uncomfortable being assertive when saying no, but the more I did it, the easier it became. MOT taught me self-love and respect and today I can proudly say that I’m a conqueror through being part of MOT as they helped me breakdown all the walls I had built up in the past. It made me realise that leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and setting an example for others and that’s what I’m going to apply daily. Through MOT I feel free and in charge of my future!